Today’s Reading: Colossians 1:18-2:7
One of the greatest scientists of our time was Albert Einstein. He was a man who was so focused on his scientific theories. He was so focused, he often neglected even the simplest things of life, such as personal appearance (as evidenced by his hair).
One time, Albert Einstein was taking a train out of town for a speaking engagement. As he sat in his seat engrossed in his work, the conductor stopped by to punch his ticket. Looking up in shock, Einstein realized he didn’t know what he had done with his ticket. Frantically, he began to search his coat pockets, and then his briefcase. Gently, the conductor said, “We all know who you are, Dr. Einstein. I’m sure you bought a ticket. Don’t worry about it.”
But, as the conductor moved along, he looked back to see Einstein on his hands and knees searching under the seats for his ticket. The conductor walked back, “Dr. Einstein, please, don’t worry about it. I know who you are.”
Exasperated, Einstein looked up and said, “I, too, know who I am. What I don’t know is where I’m going.”
The Christians at Colossae had gotten to the point that they weren’t sure where they were going either. Somebody had begun to convince them that they weren’t going to heaven. Somebody had slipped into their midst and begun to tell them they weren’t acceptable to God.
To understand what was going on here, it helps to realize that back in the days of this letter – behind the scenes – there was a spiritual battle taking place. Gentiles had always been despised by God’s people. The Jews referred to them as dogs, and perhaps had even worse names for them. Jews refused to spend any time with them if they could avoid it. Jews wouldn’t eat with them, work for them, play with them. If a Jew purchased anything from a Gentile, the product was washed to cleanse it the filth of those who had no part in God’s covenant.
You see, the mystery wasn’t just that God would accept the Gentiles, the mystery wasn’t just that God had changed the rules. The mystery was this: That God would let anybody be acceptable to Him. The mystery was that God would allow those who had been His enemies to now be called His friends. The mystery was that God would ever accept anyone like you – or like me and allow us to become His children and, it’s even more of a mystery that God would accept those who EVEN we would have trouble accepting. You see no one is beyond the reach of God’s grace and we need to remember that when we reach out to our communities.
Don’t be fooled into believing that there is something else that can make you acceptable to God. There is no other way to be saved – Jesus and His death, burial and resurrection is it!!